Hello from a total newbie. Advice please!

Hi guys.

I'm after a little bit of reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. I started c25k 2 weeks ago.

At that point, at the age of 38, having quit smoking a few months ago, gained some extra lb's and dreadfully unfit, I come across Laura. I done w1 but found while I was certainly better by r3 than I was on r1, I still couldn't keep going for 60s. So I'm now still doing w1, I've repeated it twice more as I figure I should be able to do a minute each time before moving onto w2. Then a niggle in my brain says I'll never progress unless I try to run for longer - even if I fail.

What's your thoughts on this?

Before last week, the last time I had "ran" aside from to get to the pub for last orders, was when I was 12 and was forced to do cross country in a snow blizzard at school :/


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28 Replies

  • Awight Pen? You are in good company here as quite a lot of us found starting off on this plan to be BLOODY HARD! However, fear not. Dig in and grit your teeth and trust the plan, week by week. OK, you'll have to push yourself, but you'll be SO glad you did once you achieve and complete each run. There is no shame whatsoever to repeat weeks to suit your own "vibe". But if you're feeling daring, give week two a go and if it's too damned hard, return to Week 1 and NAIL it like a mutha!

    You can do it. I know these things.....

  • What Dan said! What's the worst that can happen? I bet you'll do it though!

  • The usual advice when people are struggling with a run is......... slow down! I don't know what sort of pace you're trying to do, but usually, easing off, just trying to achieve a VERY slow jog does the job. All the way through the programme, speed is very secondary to time. Beginners, as we all were once, do tend to try to run too fast, even if they are not aware of it.

    So - try again, but make it slow. Slow and as comfortablle as you can. You can do it. Good luck.

  • Don't panic. If you look at the program as 9x3 runs rather than trying to push to complete it in 9 weeks, it is so much easier to tackle.

    Many repeat weeks. It is about learning to love running and we all do that at our own pace.

    Don't forget your rest days. They are very important.

    You can do this.

  • Yep I've had my rest days - I never in a lifetime thought I would say this - but I have loved every gaspy/sweaty minute of it so far! I don't think my pace would be anything other than slow, I will only run at dusk on empty playing fields. It's certainly nothing that a "runner" would look at with envy :)

    I've signed up for the race for life on the 28th of June, and I figure even if I don't run the whole 5k at that point, I'm going to give it a good bash. Spose I was a little disheartened at having to repeat w1, but it's highlighted just how unfit I am!

  • You're doing great just to be doing this, so please be really proud of yourself. Most of us were unfit before we started, but you'll be amazed at just how fast that changes.

    You may think you are going slow, but don't compare yourself with a more experienced and capable runner. The plan takes a complete non-runner and turns them into a competent runner. My question is - you say you're slow, but could you go slower? If the answer is yes, then do it. You need to learn to listen to your body, and make sure you don't ask more of it than it's ready for. You can increase your speed later. For now, just focus on getting through the runs.

  • Well done on getting started. I would say even if you think you are going slow, slow down some more. There is no shame in repeating the runs until you feel ready to move on, you WILL get there.

  • Rule number one: Take one day, and one run, at a time. Within that run, take each section as a separate mini challenge and concentrate just on that. Rule number two: banish all gremlins shouting "you can't do it" to a corner with masking tape over their mouths. Because you CAN do it, and you haven't worked this far to give up and go back to the couch. Rule number three, as the others have said, is drop down a gear; even if you think you're slow, you're generally going too fast for it to be a jog :) Now, rule number four: get out there for week two and get back to us with a progress report! Go!

  • everyone else has said it. Slow down if you can. I only just did w1r1 it was awful. I wouldn't have finished c25k though if I hadn't been told to slow down. So I did ad I did. I'm a stickler for sticking to plans like this, so I'd do w1r3 and finish it, then go onto w2 with a smile knowing you owned w1.

  • The bizarre thing about running is its not a race.... Unless you want it to be. As everyone says, slow down, take it easy. Your experience is similar to most people around here. Those first runs are a shock to the system, but stick at it and you will succeed. Honestly, I'm nothing special and hadn't run for thirty odd years before I started C25k, but I don't regret a single moment.

    Come on Pen, you can do this!

  • Your name made me chuckle - it's my westie who is my running partner :)

  • Then you already know as well as I do, you can't beat a Westie. He won't give up and if he's like my Westie, he won't let you give up either.

    Better hit the road!

  • Absolutely. She's sitting at the front door now eyeing up my trainers and her lead. Hahaha she beats me every time!

  • Thanks all. You've helped me over my wobble, and I'm now determined. I'm the same rmnsuk I will do a full repeat - so w1r3 tomorrow and then watch this space on Tuesday evening, I may be typing from a body bag - rotfl - but I AM GOING TO DO THIS!!

  • Hi Pen,

    I'm going for week 2 run 1 on Tuesday as well :) We can do this!

  • It took me several weeks to get to Week 1 run 1 ! I started out managing 20 seconds, then slowly built up from there. Eventually got to week 1 run 1 . Run slowly and keep trying !

    I've gone from 20 seconds to 30 minutes. It can be done.

  • Awww look - someone like me! :) It shows how much this is a mental game when I actually needed to see someone else say that they did this. I keep telling myself that I will get to 60 seconds but my inner critic says "Are you suure?"

    I'm pre-Week 1 too. :)

  • Well, I'm 48 and 30lbs overweight, quit smoking a year ago, and I've been where you are and have completed the program. I was soooo unfit, practically housebound with inactivity (work from home as well) !

    Especially at the start, it's a mix of unfit and a mental game. Then the fitness gets better and the mental gremlins really kick in !

    I walk on the days I don't run, which I think helps. I try and do 30 min brisk walks on the non-running days. "every little helps ...." LOL

    My 30 mins of running buys me 3.5k now, and on Friday past there, ran 5k in 45 minutes. Can hardly believe it, when I started out in 20 seconds bursts !

    The sense of achievement is a real drug !

    Keep going, you will improve, "things can only get better ... "

  • Add another one into the "slow down" camp. Just the gentlest of gentle jogs and I am sure you will be fine.

  • U can do it! I never ran before doing this and am now about to embark on W5! A couple of repeats are fine but you still need to push yourself and you will surprise yourself! I completely agree with slowing the pace it really helps I refer to it as a trot!! Good luck!

  • I'm going to repeat what everyone else has said! Slow down! Then slow down more if you need to. You can do this. Believe in yourself and prepare to be amazed. It is a wonderful journey and we are all here to help you along. Enjoy!!!!!

  • Its amazing how quickly your fitness will improve trust the plan it works !! I too was so unfit before finding this and now am preparing for a half marathon 😀 after nine weeks on the plan I can run a 5k in just over 38 mins non stop keep going it's an amazing feeling once you realise you can actually do it x

  • And yes Slow Down 😀

  • Thanks guys. Well last night I managed an unplanned trip out, which was a surprise as hubby goes to the pub and I'm stuck in with the children on a saturday, but he come home early. So I repeated w1r3, and "nailed it like a mutha" thanks for that phrase Dan, it will stay with me throughout :)

    So rest today, and tomorrow w2r1! I'm no longer dreading it

  • Well done Pen11 - you sound like me 6 months ago! I had quit smoking, was using the ecig, overweight (still got some work to do on that!) and hadn't run since school! You can do this! I promise you can! (I've just ran my first 10K race!)

    Just slow down as everyone says, it doesn't matter if you are out of breath, sweaty etc (that's good and you'll get better every time!). You've started which is the hardest part, keep going! Post on here for support, ask questions. Make sure you stretch lots when you finish each run and enjoy the post run feeling of 'did I just actually do that - yes I did!!!!'. If you need to repeat a week, repeat it. Take it at your pace but do progress too, the programme will take you there in the right time. Good luck! :)

  • Oh man I feel your pain. I haven't run since school Cross Country either and I'm 51. I also can't manage the full 60 seconds. I just tell myself I can only get better!

    I do think that if I was running with other people, I would be able to last longer so I would say give some harsh self-talk a real try. Either get a real person (I can't) or seriously talk to yourself as though you were responding to either someone you want to impress, someone you don't want to look bad in front of or a personal trainer.

    I also wouldn't bother trying for the entire 60 seconds. I would be happy to increase my own time by a few seconds each time. Slow and steady progress is definitely possible.

    I'm in Minus Week 1 until I get to 60 secs and I don't cre too much how long that takes.

  • Well booger me! I just did W1R1 and almost nailed it! I ran 50, 60, 60, 50, 60, 70, 60 and 30 seconds!!! Man it was hard!

  • Well done HC. It will get easier - stick with it.

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